Article 321: The Creation Issue according to Buddhism

Article 321: The Creation Issue according to Buddhism

Hasan A. Yahya, Ph.Ds, a writer from the Unholy Land

 One of the teachings of Buddhism that is difficult for its adherents to explain to non-Buddhists, one that even long-time Buddhist teachers have a problem with, is the Judeo-Christian-Islamic version of the creation of the universe. In these religious traditions the creation story derives from two assumptions:

Creation is the work of a single agent: God.

Creation occurred in a single event, and relatively recently.

 Creation occurred in a single event, and relatively recently.

In order to refute the first postulate, it is necessary to understand that in Buddhist teaching there is no single universe in which every living being resides. Rather, there are many universes of experience, and every living being exists in its own universe. In other words, if I am born with a man’s body, then of all the possible experiences offered by the universe, I am limited to the experiences that are possible for a male. This means that I can’t become pregnant, have a menstrual cycle or experience menopause. Conversely, a woman cannot grow a beard (usually) or possess the same potential for muscular development as a man. Furthermore, an American’s experiences of the universe are different from those of a Mexican or Australian, and the reality of someone born in the twenty-first century will differ from that of someone who lived in the eighteenth century.

For Buddhists the creator of the universe of experience is not an external being, but your own Karma. Karma subtitutes the role of God, but the main difference is that it is not separated from the individual. Past actions of thought, speech and body determine, limit and set a boundary for the experiences that I can have in the present, and present actions set the same boundaries for future experiences.

In order to refute the second Judeo-Christian-Islamic postulate, one must demostrate that the world is not in a state of being (fixed, settled), but rather in a state of becoming. Through his teaching of impermanence, the Buddha showed that the world is in a state of becoming. At any given moment, some people are born and others die, some stars are born while others die, some galaxies are born as others die. At any level that we examine the universe, from the atomic to the galactic, changes are happening and the universe is never set, never finished, but always in a state of becoming – a work in progress. According to this point of view, it does not make sense to try to affirm that creation happened either a short time or a long time ago, because creation is happening right now. It is a continous process with a complimentary process of destruction. In other words, in Buddhism creation is a participative and never ending process instead of an observed and previously completed event.

The next question that springs to mind is: If there has never been a creator God where the idea came from? To understand the answer to this question is it necessary to refer to Buddhist Cosmology. The time from the creation to the destruction of the universe is called a kalpa (an very long, long time). At the end of the kalpa the human and god realms are destroyed and at the beginning of a new kalpa the god realm is the first to appear. Due to his past karma, one particular being is the first to be reborn in the god realm and for a long time he is living alone. (Some time ago, when I was receiving a teaching from a Tibetan master he mentioned that Brahma (the creator according to Hinduism) is the oldest living being in the current kalpa.)

At some moment he wishes to have companionship and sooner or later a second beign is reborn there. When this happens the first being, Brahma, thinks “I wished for companionship, and now this being appeared so I must be his creator!”. The second being thinks “This other being was here before me, so he must be my creator” and all the next beings reborn in the god realm, fall into the same mistaken logic. Later on, the good karma that make this beings gods is exhausted and they fall into the human realm. Unconsciently they remember that the saw the creator god in a past life so they continue to worship him. This is the reason the highest cast of the Aryans is called Brahmins because they saw Brahma face-to-face in the past. (764 words)


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Professor, Dr. Hasan A. Yahya is an Arab American writer, scholar, and professor of Sociology lives in the United States of America,  originally from Palestine. He graduated from Michigan State University with  2 Ph.d degrees. He published 65 books plus (45 Arabic and 20 English), and 300 plus articles on sociology, religion, psychology, politics, poetry, and short stories. Philosophically, his writings concern logic, justice and human rights worldwide. Dr. Yahya is the author of Crescentologism: The Moon Theory,  and  Islam Finds its Way, on Amazon. He’s an expert on Race Relations, Arab and Islamic cultures, he is also, interested in religion, world affairs and  global strategic planning for justice and human rights.

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